Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-08-2012, 11:45   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 31
Reluctant Wife

A number of years ago, after a divorce and before I met my current wife, I bought a 38' sloop and went sailing for a year. What I learned was that sailing is much better when shared with one's significant other. Being a companion oriented male, I found myself lonely and lacking in the satisfaction that normally comes from the freedom of sailing.

When I married my current wife Ann, she knew of my obsession with sailing. Several times we chartered boats in various Caribbean locations and sailed together for 10 days to two weeks. Ann was in heaven! Several times we discussed, semi-seriously, the prospects of just continuing on and escaping from the maddening crowd.

Now it's time to retire and I am ready to buy my boat and spend the rest of my ambulatory life afloat. Naturally, I expected my wife to be as excited as I am, considering I had voiced my desires for retirement many times.

Needless to say, I was astounded when she told me that she will not retire to a sailboat with me! Her feelings about me have not changed, but the boat is out. We don't have enough money to own a house for her and a boat for me, let alone pay for the expenses of two in different environments. I'm crushed!! I've waited most of the last 25 years waiting for this period in life and now I don't know what to do.

Ann wants to be close to the kids: one is in New York and the other two will be scattered to who knows where. Plus, she is afraid of skin cancer: once she had an in Situ melanoma but, when it was removed, the cancer didn't spread. Now, after 20 years, she has no signs of melanoma nor any other form of skin cancer. She tells me that she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life "lathering up" with sun block.

I have offered a compromise of sailing for only three to five years, but she is having none of it. Truth be told, I think she is afraid of sailing out of sight of land. Most of our sailing charters have been island hopping in the Virgin Islands. It's like sailing in a big bath tub!! In short, I think she's scared.

The purpose of this dialogue is to get whatever advice I can get from female sailors who might read this blog. I'm sure that I don't understand the female point of view, but I'm desperate to find a solution. If anyone has a suggestion, please, please let me hear it.
__________________

__________________
Davie J.
Davie J. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:01   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: South Florida
Boat: Gibson 50'
Posts: 295
Re: Reluctant Wife

Dude.. I'm there with you!

My wife absolutely hated our big sailboat. . so we compromised.. I got a houseboat and a smaller sailboat to tie up to it
__________________

__________________
offline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:05   #3
Registered User
 
Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Indiana
Boat: 1984 Johnson Boatworks Inland Scow, 20' and a 1975 sailMFG Bandit 19 Pocket Cruiser
Posts: 204
Re: Reluctant Wife

I can only point out the reality of the situation and ask you if you're willing to sacrifice your dream or not. You both have divergent dreams and expectations out of life. I'll leave you to think about that and decide where your priority is, and ultimately, there's no wrong answer to your dilemma, just varying levels of happiness of all concerned.

One compromise might be a trailer sailor and a house, and you both spend weekends on the water. That's as far as I'm gonna stick my foot in this bear trap, though.
__________________
"Dum vivimus, vivamus! -- 'While we live, let us live!"-Heinlein (Among others)
My Refit and Travel Blog
Tom Stormcrowe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:07   #4
Registered User
 
svpattyd's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maryland
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 284
Send a message via AIM to svpattyd Send a message via Yahoo to svpattyd Send a message via Skype™ to svpattyd
Start with cruises in the sight of land or overnight for not more than two nights. Sail the AICW. Make lots of stops. I think our kids enjoy having us out and about in the world. We come back to the Chesapeake for a few months, then venture out again. Both of you need to ask, do you own your possessions or do your possessions own you? She may be afraid of getting rid of all her stuff. Talk to her. Take her to an SSCA gam or other event where she can ask questions about cruising.
__________________
Patty
V42-175
http://svpattyd.blogspot.com
svpattyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:09   #5
Resin Head
 
minaret's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Seattle WA
Boat: Nauticat
Posts: 7,199
Images: 52
Re: Reluctant Wife

You could try to speak with Nancy Erley at Tethy's Offshore. She teaches women's offshore sailing classes and specializes in this sort of issue. She would very likely be able to help, though it sounds like you may be east coast and she is PNW. She is very much a woman's advocate, and if you just want to convince your wife to go it may backfire on you. But if you want to work on your wife's concerns and fears while building her understanding and skill set to allow her to do as much as she is capable of doing with you, it could be a great move. Do some searching on google and on this forum. Many people have trod this path before you (though thankfully not me). Women like to learn from other experienced women on this sort of issue, not their husbands. They know better than to believe everything we tell them!
__________________
minaret is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:16   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: vancouver, canada
Boat: hunter 31
Posts: 609
Re: Reluctant Wife

Sorry, Davie, I know you asked for the female perspective, and I'm sure you will get it, but you may gain a better perspective from a cross-section of sailors, including males.
It isn't necessarily a gender thing... I know of at least one instance of a retired couple where the husband got off the boat, while the wife continued sailing around the world.
I can fully understand the safety and security, both physical and financial, of a home ashore, compared with disappearing over the horizon with all your retirement money tied up in a boat, but I can also understand the prospects of giving up the long-awaited opportunity to sail into travel and adventure to pursue a perceived life of retirement ashore, lawn bowling and shuffling to seniors luncheons at Denny's every Sunday. I'm 53, and retirement is, at least, on the horizon. My wife and I have decided on a tentative plan that may work for us. We plan on selling our downtown condo, moving to a less expensive area, like the Sunshine coast of BC, buying a 40 foot boat, and keeping it in Downtown Vancouver where we can live aboard in the summer, while maintaining a comfortable home elsewhere. I hope you can resolve your problem, keep your wife happy, and continue sailing.
__________________
shorebird is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:17   #7
cat herder, extreme blacksheep
 
zeehag's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: furycame alley , tropics, mexico for now
Boat: 1976 FORMOSA yankee clipper 41
Posts: 17,772
Images: 56
Send a message via Yahoo to zeehag Send a message via Skype™ to zeehag
Re: Reluctant Wife

ok. she is afraid of something. find out what and deal with it or .... each find other lives.
if she doesnt want to leave land, whereon her babies reside, mebbe she is afraid of separation from them. mebbe she is afraid of the unknown, living on a sailboat and gawdknowzwhereto be in morning....yipes--so many human beings suffer that--male and female---mebbe she is afraid she will kill you for making such a rude lifestyle change.....


or not
zeehag is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:32   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
roverhi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Kona, Hawaii, Carlsbad, CA
Boat: 1969 Pearson 35 #108 & 1976 Sabre 28
Posts: 6,005
Send a message via Yahoo to roverhi
Re: Reluctant Wife

How big a boat are we talking about here. There are a ton of boats out there under $50,000 that would make very comfortable cruisers for a couple. They are not floating condominiums but are sure you want the expense, maintenance, and physical labor necessary to sail on one of those monstrosities. A cheaper boat, but still adequate, could give you the ability to keep a house for her and still have her join you for the local cruising while you make the passages. Cruising doesn't have to be an all or nothing proposition.
__________________
Peter O.
'Ae'a Pearson 35
roverhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:46   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
S/V Antares's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Annapolis, Bahamas
Boat: 1983 Gulfstar 36
Posts: 1,249
Images: 1
Re: Reluctant Wife

Coastal cruising on a small boat and a land condo to call home are a reasonable compromise. Start slow.

If it does not work get her a storage unit with a couch and TV and take off.
__________________
Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
S/V Antares is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 12:57   #10
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Reluctant Wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davie J. View Post
A number of years ago, after a divorce and before I met my current wife, I bought a 38' sloop and went sailing for a year. What I learned was that sailing is much better when shared with one's significant other. Being a companion oriented male, I found myself lonely and lacking in the satisfaction that normally comes from the freedom of sailing.

When I married my current wife Ann, she knew of my obsession with sailing. Several times we chartered boats in various Caribbean locations and sailed together for 10 days to two weeks. Ann was in heaven! Several times we discussed, semi-seriously, the prospects of just continuing on and escaping from the maddening crowd.

Now it's time to retire and I am ready to buy my boat and spend the rest of my ambulatory life afloat. Naturally, I expected my wife to be as excited as I am, considering I had voiced my desires for retirement many times.

Needless to say, I was astounded when she told me that she will not retire to a sailboat with me! Her feelings about me have not changed, but the boat is out. We don't have enough money to own a house for her and a boat for me, let alone pay for the expenses of two in different environments. I'm crushed!! I've waited most of the last 25 years waiting for this period in life and now I don't know what to do.

Ann wants to be close to the kids: one is in New York and the other two will be scattered to who knows where. Plus, she is afraid of skin cancer: once she had an in Situ melanoma but, when it was removed, the cancer didn't spread. Now, after 20 years, she has no signs of melanoma nor any other form of skin cancer. She tells me that she doesn't want to spend the rest of her life "lathering up" with sun block.

I have offered a compromise of sailing for only three to five years, but she is having none of it. Truth be told, I think she is afraid of sailing out of sight of land. Most of our sailing charters have been island hopping in the Virgin Islands. It's like sailing in a big bath tub!! In short, I think she's scared.

The purpose of this dialogue is to get whatever advice I can get from female sailors who might read this blog. I'm sure that I don't understand the female point of view, but I'm desperate to find a solution. If anyone has a suggestion, please, please let me hear it.

I think she has a very reasonable fear of another skin cancer; she was very lucky the first time. I also understand the desire to be available for one's kids. They're both compelling arguments. I think it would be NICE if she were just scared, because that might be easier to overcome, but ... I think she has very real reasons. Did you share this dream with her, especially how important to you, over those 25 years?

Could you scale down on both your land home and your water home and manage both, and share time on both? Some condos are very spacious, and where I live (FL) very nice condos are going for a song. So are some boats. Could you buy one that needs a little fixing up? Where can you compromise?
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 13:06   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Colorado
Boat: Com-pac 16 & Pearson Ensign
Posts: 28
Re: Reluctant Wife

A condo with a dock. A boat one geezer can easily manage. Find friends to sail with. She is not going to change.
Had the melanoma scare. I use hats, sun shirts, and a bimini.
__________________
chas5131 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 14:13   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 382
Re: Reluctant Wife

Find out specifically what her fears are and brainstorm together about ways you can deal with them. Find out on what conditions she would agree to a year or two sailing life. Could you get her to agree to staying in the BVI, maybe sailing the ICW to visit NY and your child there for a month or so every year? Let her know she can leave you and the boat whenever she wants and fly to see the kids wherever they are. See if you can't agree to do this for maybe 2 years - safe sailing in small known area, close to home - and if she isn't happy after 2 years, you will move back to land.
__________________
terminalcitygrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 14:26   #13
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Reluctant Wife

ask her what her plan involves (apart from staying out of the sun, near the kids).

you never know, it might be better than yours!
David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 14:34   #14
Registered User
 
alan_za's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Victoria, BC
Boat: Tanzer 7.5 sailboat | Current Designs Solstice GTS kayak
Posts: 89
Re: Reluctant Wife

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davie J. View Post
Now it's time to retire and I am ready to buy my boat and spend the rest of my ambulatory life afloat. Naturally, I expected my wife to be as excited as I am, considering I had voiced my desires for retirement many times.

Needless to say, I was astounded when she told me that she will not retire to a sailboat with me!
Wow you are unlucky - most women love sailing...
__________________
alan_za is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-08-2012, 14:39   #15
Armchair Bucketeer
 
David_Old_Jersey's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,013
Images: 4
Re: Reluctant Wife

........but reading between the lines (aka making stuff up? ) I rather suspect that the real answer is worse than being scared. far worse .

She likely views being stuck on a boat 24/7 forever as a mix between root canal work. and watching paint dry. whilst living somewhere the size of a walkin closet.....take away the sun, and all that kinda loses a lot of it's attraction.

Imagine if she was proposing moving halfway up a mountain in Idaho (do they have mountains there? ), so she can live her dream of growing Lentils. 24/7. forever.............you might actually enjoy the annual vacation doing that (a few weeks or even a few months), the Lentil thing might not be quite so interesting for you as it is for her , but would be other stuff to do and the first big plus is you are doing it together . The second big plus is that you are not doing it 24/7 forever .

Perhaps not what you want to hear, but perhaps something you have to deal with. Maybe suggest a compromise of 3 or 6 months a year floating around in a boat somewhere (does not have to be somewhere hot, hot, hot)....not being 24/7 forever means the boat does not have to be so expensive. Could even look into a partnership, especially if you (her!) would prefer the less sunny months.
__________________

David_Old_Jersey is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:59.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.